I. Forever Begins


I had just left the hospital
with a death sentence
firmly grasped in my mental grip
Anticipating a short lived trip
lasting only six months
The last of which to be spent bedridden
with low spirits dwelling in pain
begging to be euthanized
My eyes forever shut

Supposedly the twenties
are a man’s prime
That seems irrelevant
considering certain aspects of time
Those were my years
Golden and final
Yet I refused to believe it
Little did I know
True disbelief was waiting to greet me
as soon as I returned home

An old and sickly woman
looking far worse for wear
On her hands and knees
Sounding like she was struggling to breathe
Seemed to be fighting her way towards me
An object in her hand
Something it seemed she regarded
as being of the utmost importance
Unbelievably strange
She called me by a name
A name that I heard one time
in a long forgotten dream of mine
One of the sweetest visions
The sweetest of loves
A lingering aftertaste
Long lasting
Leaving me enamored
with fruit from a forsaken fantasy
It was almost as if
she didn’t know me by any other name

Under conventional circumstances
I don’t know what I would’ve done
She was dry heaving
Coughing up blood
Bleeding from freshly made wounds
that would suddenly appear
as if unseen daggers in the air
were slashing at her
Punishing her
for not heeding the warning to beware
A moment like the Ides of March
A time which was now upon her
I really didn’t know what to do
but I knew that it would be me
in a similar situation
soon enough

It just felt natural
I picked her up
In spite of her suffering
she looked at me
with the eyes of a young child
whose wish had just been granted

With her last breath
and final smile
she spoke
and I distinctly heard the words
[Yes, I’d love to marry you]

Even through the disbelief and confusion
I felt
She was somehow
in some way important to me
I turned my attention towards
this object of utmost importance
that she desperately kept trying to give to me
It was some sort of drink
I didn’t think too much of it
until I looked and saw a book
in her other hand
I had no reason not to read it
I presumed she would’ve wanted me to
Such an assumption turned out to be true
I peeked at a few pages

Dates, Times and Durations
Natural disasters of mass destruction
Mass murders
Disruption of social classes
World affairs
I would’ve figured her for a historian
or a political scientist
Though the most chilling thing of all
was also the most telling detail about her
Out of all the events inscribed
Only one of them had actually occured
so far
The part where she dies and I survive
This very moment
It was written
Yet neglected to mention how
all sensation had escaped from me

My sanity
My ability to reason
The blood from my face
had fled as well
I could in no way ignore
The frightening
Tragic realization
She must’ve known
she would suffer such a fate
if this indeed was real
Yet there she was
Her lifeless body
disintegrating quickly
Leaving me
to wonder if
This quest was the cause of her death

Still in confusion
I looked at the remains
of who I assumed to be a late admirer
Which at that point
was reduced to just bones and dust
being blown away
by an intermittent breeze
All that was left behind was a ring

So in shock was I
the craving for some sliver of normalcy
was overwhelming
I learned I was going to die that day
and then I see a stranger disintegrate
right before my very eyes
I had had enough of this sense of surreality
and I sought solace in a dreamless sleep

The next day
I was to bring myself back to reality
Though I tried
A day like the one I had prior
could never really fade away
and never so soon
Especially since
it was an entire day of deja vu
Towards the end of the night
I realized
The first list of events on the page I read
were clustered together
spanning one week
I was on the second day
Delineated in detail
I was afraid at that moment
but by the end of the week
I was not only convinced
but had grown accustomed to it

Now this object of utmost importance
that she had been trying to give me
became that much more important
It had suddenly become
the most vital thing on earth to me
and like a madman I drank

As soon as a sip of its bittersweet taste
touched the tip of my tongue
I almost spit it out through puckered lips
If not for the love of irony and its elegant vulgarities
I’m sure that if anyone were to witness this
it would lead them to believe that it had
The taste of the sweetest lemonade
I felt no different

At this point I had some sort of clue
I scanned the list of events
expecting to see when we would next meet
There it was at the very end
I was destined to meet her again
yet a decade later
A decade
When not too long ago
I had not a plan
that would extend past half a year
At this I donned on a new fear
but I still wondered
how much longer beyond that
I would still be here

Having caught a glimpse of death’s face
I didn’t have much of a mindset to simply wait
The first year I spent in relative normalcy
Each one after was spent in a different country
Decisions were made easily
since I had a list I could follow
At the end of a rather successful span
After bearing witness to the fruition
of every written event
We met again as predicted

She looked older
but not old
or sickly
Only a few strands of grey peeked out
from below her hair
We had some time to talk
Interestingly enough
my ten year old questions
had either been forgotten, answered
or lost somewhere within our discourse
Such a sweet and kindly soul was she
She admitted to suppressing the urge
to give in to nostalgia
regale me with tales of our time together
She said I would find out soon enough
It was a relatively brief encounter
She couldn’t stay much longer than a day
else she couldn’t make it
to the moment that truly mattered
We both knew when that was

I’ve managed to glean enough information
to satisfy my curiosity up to this point
My interest is piqued to say the least

Apparently we’ve been together for quite some time
The bittersweet elixir that she gave me
Saved me
Gave me immortality
or at least a mimicry of it
I won’t die of old age
I can still be hurt or murdered
I read in a text once
The appropriate term to describe me
is a long living individual

She told me
Like anything else
Her method of travel has its limits
Anyone would surely perish
if their roots were left too far behind
She would do what she needed to do
This way
we both make it out alive
Her words, not mine

It still doesn’t fully make sense to me
though I’m looking forward to experiencing
this love
I can understand her already
Out of curiosity
I asked her how she first learned of me
She craftily avoided the question
though not very skilled
at hiding the tear that escaped from her eye
carrying some painful memory with it
She refused to tell me
or feed me a lie
I guess
I’ll find out

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
2. Forever Young